What does John 16:22 mean?
ESV: So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.
NIV: So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.
NASB: Therefore you too have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one is going to take your joy away from you.
CSB: So you also have sorrow now. But I will see you again. Your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy from you.
NLT: So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy.
KJV: And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.
NKJV: Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.
Verse Commentary:
As Christ explains the misery and persecution His followers can expect from the world (John 16:1–3), He also offers comfort. A crucial aspect of that encouragement is the fact that pain and suffering are temporary, as compared to the blessings offered by life in Christ (John 10:10; 14:6). Jesus has recently predicted that the disciples' experience of His death and resurrection (John 18:1–3; 19:18; 20:19) will parallel that of a woman giving birth. The pain is intense, but relatively short-lived, and what comes after is a lasting and even-more-intense joy (John 16:20–21).

In the most immediate sense, Jesus also refers to the sorrow His closest followers feel as they hear His dire predictions (John 16:6, 12). He once again comforts them with a reminder—deliberately given in advance (John 16:4)—that they will see Him again (John 16:16). Over time, their faith in the risen Christ will be characterized by joy which even persecution and death cannot overcome (Acts 5:41; 8:8; 13:52; Luke 24:52).
Verse Context:
John 16:16–24 once again reminds the disciples that Christ must suffer and die for the sins of the world (Mark 8:31). The days ahead will be especially dark and frightening for those who so closely followed Jesus. Yet the outcome will be powerful and world changing. Jesus explains this using the analogy of childbirth. The process of giving birth is painful—but the reward is immeasurably valuable. Afterwards, joy over the new birth far outweighs memories of the painful birth process.
Chapter Summary:
Throughout His teaching in the Last Supper (John 13:1–5), Jesus has often brought up the fact that He's giving His followers advance warnings (John 13:19; 14:25). His intent is to provide encouragement—persecution as a result of their faith is inevitable. In keeping with that reassurance, Jesus again promises the coming of the Holy Spirit. He explains that after a time of deep sorrow, His followers will experience great joy and clarity. This concludes with a beloved promise that Christ has "overcome the world."
Chapter Context:
This completes the teaching portion of Jesus' words during the Last Supper, begun in chapter 13. Christ echoes many of the themes of His earthly ministry. His focus is especially on encouragement: reminding the disciples that the hard times they will experience will end in victory. While they don't clearly understand, the Holy Spirit will lead them in the right direction. This ends with Christ's beloved declaration that He has "overcome the world." That introduces the record of Jesus' High Priestly Prayer in chapter 17, immediately before His arrest early in chapter 18.
Book Summary:
The disciple John wrote the gospel of John decades after the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke were written. The author assumes that a reader is already familiar with the content of these other works. So, John presents a different perspective, with a greater emphasis on meaning. John uses seven miracles—which he calls "signs"— to prove that Jesus is, in fact, God incarnate. Some of the most well-known verses in the Bible are found here. None is more famous than the one-sentence summary of the gospel found in John 3:16.
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